Kobe Bryant


(Image via New York Post)

Jelani Dupon, Writer

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Although that statement is completely opinionated, it is important to look at all of his lifetime achievements for basketball. Kobe Bryant was a star before going to the NBA, and has many high school achievements, some of these include: 31-3 team record, leading his team by averaging 30 points, twelve rebounds, six assists and five steals. 2883 points in his total high school career, which is more than both Lionel Simmons and Wilt Chamberlain. He was so good that his high school has the whole basketball court in the gym painted with pictures of him, and they have his jersey hanging up in the wall of fame as well. Kobe won awards such as the McDonald’s All American award. Naismith High School player of the year, and Gatorade player of the year. Kobe is also one of 45 players to go to the NBA straight from high school, a feat that players like Michael Jordan or Larry Bird didn’t accomplish.

Kobe was selected in the 1996 NBA draft in the first round, pick 13, he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets but got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. After playing a couple quiet seasons, and barely getting any playing time, the Lakers got Shaquille O’Neal in a trade deal. Kobe and Shaq went on to win three NBA championships, one against the Indiana Pacers, one against the Philadelphia 76ers, and one where they beat the Brooklyn Nets 4-0, sweeping them. It would make it back to the finals in 2004 but lose to the Detroit Pistons and lose again in 2008 against the Boston Celtics. With another chance to win the finals the following year, Kobe and his Lakers would play against the Orlando Magic, winning in five games. The next year the Lakers made it to the finals again and also prevailed and beat the opponent who beat them two years earlier, the Boston Celtics. Three years after this impressive championship run, Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles’ tendon, it was in April of 2013. Many think that this injury was caused by Kobe overusing his tendon, former teammates, coaches, and anyone who knew him would talk about how great his work ethic was, and since a tear can be caused by underworking or overworking, his tenacious behavior probably sealed his injury. This Achilles injury has proven to be devastating to professional athletes and this is especially true to basketball. After this injury and after the recovery, Kobe was still playing for two seasons, however it was clear he wasn’t the same, and in the 2015-2016 season he retired, he was 34 years old. Fans came to see Kobe play his last game, along with old teammates and even actors such as Jack Nicholson, and Kobe that night when on to score 60 points. Kobe Bryant was bigger than just basketball, this is true because of his accomplishments outside of basketball. Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for best animated short film in 2018 with the project titled “Dear Basketball.” Kobe sadly passed away in a helicopter crash in late January of this year, although he wasn’t inducted into the basketball hall of fame (because he just retired a couple years ago) they will put him in that class and have a ceremony for him. His impact was tremendous, and although he died very young, he would be proud to have left something greater than what he took from the world.